HUBBARD HEIGHTS, W.J. TURNER CROWNED FITWORTH CHALLENGE WINNER
Fort Worth ISD’s Hubbard Heights and W.J. Turner elementary schools are the 2018 winners of the Mayor’s FitWorth Challenge.
The wellness contest, now in its seventh year, encouraged school physical education classes to get an hour of physical activity, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, drink six to eight servings of water and read extra minutes during the month of October. Schools practicing healthy habits and accumulating the most physical activity minutes are recognized as the challenge winners.
Read more here.
BMHS Violinist Selected to TMEA All State Orchestra
Violinist Mary Michael of Fort Worth ISD’s Benbrook Middle-High School is among student musicians slated to perform with the All State Symphony Orchestra at the 2019 Texas Music Educators Association Convention.
This is Mary’s first selection to an All State orchestra.
Read more here.
D. McRae ES, WHHS Take Home November Webby Award Honors
Congratulations to D. McRae Elementary School and Western Hills High School, Fort Worth ISD’s Webby Award November challenge winners.
Campus principals from the two school received the coveted Webby Award trophy for display on their campus for the next month and a Kroger gift card for campus use. Award presentations were made at elementary and secondary principals’ meetings, December 12 and 13 at the Professional Development Center.
FWISD Academic Teaching Chair Honoree Gives Birth to Twins
Humanities Winner on Teaching Career: “It’s what I love to do.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the next few weeks, Inside FWISD will feature individual acceptance speeches from Fort Worth ISD’s 2018-2019 Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence.
Samantha Keaton, a social studies teacher at Fort Worth ISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy, has much to be thankful for this holiday season.
Just one day after being honored as the 2018-2019 Sewell Lexus and Infiniti of Fort Worth Chair for Teaching Excellence in Humanities, Mrs. Keaton gave birth to twins. Katelynn Marie and Emory Elizabeth, weighing six pounds, three ounces, and five pounds, 13 ounces, respectively, were born at 12:04 p.m. November 15.
Mrs. Keaton, a mother of three, said that’s she’s now adjusting to her “new normal.”
“We are beyond excited that our family has grown from three to five and the to see the bonds that they create with each other,” she said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.
Please explain the purpose of starting elementary school at 7:50 a.m. this year as opposed to the traditional 8 a.m. This is also after advising parents of stricter rules and threats of punishment for attendance issues. I am a working parent with one child in middle school with a start time of 9:15 a.m. and another in elementary with a start time of 7:50 a.m. It is very inconvenient, and I genuinely do not understand the purpose.
In Kind Regards,
8-5 Working Mom
Dear 8-5 Working Mom,
Thank you for your question, 8-5 Working Mom. I reached out to Karen Molinar, chief of staff for the Policy and Planning Department, and here’s the response: “In 2015, the Texas Legislature changed the way school districts account for student instructional time. Instead of the old 180-day calendar, lawmakers decided that students must be in class at least 75,600 minutes each year. Starting with the 2018-2019 school year, the Fort Worth ISD implemented a new daily class schedule. While it means 10 to 15 more minutes in class for students, the benefits – both instructionally and operationally – are many. And, FWISD will join many other districts in aligning with a new state law based on minutes, not days. Under our ongoing campaign of Attendance Adds Up, the District is unveiling the following schedule:
- Fort Worth ISD’s traditional high schools will now begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m.
- Middle schools will begin at 9:15 a.m. and end their day at 4:30 p.m.
- And, traditional elementary school students in the Fort Worth ISD will begin at 7:50 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m.
The District’s Schools of Choice, early college high schools, and other specialty schools will also extend their instructional day but some with different beginning and ending times. Under the new state law, teachers will work the same number of hours as they did under the 180-day calendar. Changing from days to minutes (a day is considered to be at least 420 minutes) brings benefits to student and their families as well as districts. The increased learning time will provide more opportunity for integrated instruction. It will benefit students who may need additional assistance. Also, under the old 180-day system, the Fort Worth ISD had to include two weather make-up days. These days were often scheduled for Good Friday or for the day after school was scheduled to end. Allowing FWISD to count, and accumulate minutes, however, allows for the elimination of the scheduled ‘weather days.’ By adding 10 or 15 minutes to each day, students will gain enough minutes to still meet the state required goal without adding extra days.”
Thanks again for your question 8-5 Working Mom and thank you Ms. Molinar for your response.
So the Texas Observer had an article in August that although it is federal law to give high school seniors materials and the opportunity to register to vote twice in their senior year, two-thirds of Texas schools NEVER request the materials to offer to their students. Can you tell me if the Fort Worth ISD has requested the materials and is complying with the federal law?
Dear Ms. Dreyspring,
Thank you for your question. I reached out to Karen Molinar, chief of staff for the Policy and Planning Department, and here’s the response: “This year, FWISD students participated in Student Voting Day. This fall, many eligible students across Texas, including FWISD students, cast their ballots on Friday, October 26. The first Friday of early voting is recognized as #StudentVotingDay in Texas. A state proclamation, issued in 2017, encourages young voters to exercise their rights. ‘This is a day when our entire community is called upon to urge and encourage all eligible students in Texas to make their voices heard by casting their ballots at ANY polling location in their county of registration,’ according to Texas Secretary of State, Rolando Pablos. A total of 854 students registered as first-time voters in their schools prior to the October 9 voter registration deadline.”
Thanks again for your question Ms. Dreyspring, and thank you Ms. Molinar for your response.
Why does our District work on a national holiday like Memorial Day? I haven’t found any other district that works on this day, so I wonder why we do not have this recognized as a regular holiday for ALL employees?
Thank you for your question. I reached out to Karen Molinar, chief of staff for the Policy and Planning Department, and here’s the response: “ We will bring the concern to the calendar committee.”
Thanks again for your question Candice, and thank you Ms. Molinar for your response.
Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put the words "Ask Elsie" in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.
Please bear with us as we have a backlog of Ask Elsie questions and are responding to questions as soon as we can.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are recent photos from across the Fort Worth ISD.
Holiday Concert Series (View archived broadcasts of the concerts at www.facebook.com/fortworthisd)
Metro Opportunity High School partners with local food bank to provide groceries to students and their families
Presents collected through FWISD's Early Learning Angel Tree program were recently distributed to some of the District's youngest learners